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“Dont waste your money!!”

Reykjavik Excursions Northern Lights Tour
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Northern Lights Tour from Reykjavik
Ranked #66 of 337 Tours in Reykjavik
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Owner description: The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis are a spectacular natural phenomenon, often seen dancing around in fantastic colours across the Icelandic Arctic sky. The Northern lights are caused by the interaction of particles from the sun with the upper atmosphere near the North Pole. That creates this wonderful light effect, known as the Aurora Borealis.The locations visited are different every tour since we go where it’s most likely to see the Northern Lights each day. This tour is dependant on weather and sightings are not guaranteed. Refreshments not included.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Dont waste your money!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

We took the Northern Lights tour twice with no luck. The lady on the bus talked at length about how its hard to see Northern Lights in areas with "light pollution", and to my surprise both the time they took us to a place where there was plenty of light. I wonder why they don't take tourists to places like Thingvellir National Park, where you would most likely spot the lights.

On hindsight, I must say if you really want to do a Northern Lights tour, book it with agencies who take you on 4x4 jeeps in the wild. That being said, I wouldn't book it again!!

Visited December 2013
2 Thank WanderlustBugK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
376 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Sadly only a very feeble appearance of the Northern Lights”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013 via mobile

This was one of the two things we hoped to see while in Iceland, along with whales. We saw the whales and had a tiny glimpse of the Northern Lights, so job done in theory.

Like others have said, I think the organisation of these trips could be better, as our hotel was repeatedly having to phone regarding pick-up issues for pre-booked tours for several guests over the previous week.

On the night we were scheduled to go, the trip was cancelled, but it seems you just keep getting added to the next night's list while you're there, until conditions are favourable. The following night the trip was on, as the sky was reasonably clear.

We were given a time of 7.45pm for our pick-up, but it was 8.40pm before the coach arrived for us, possibly as our hotel was out of town. Many on board looked like they'd been there awhile and several were sleeping.

The coach headed out from the city into the darkness, a journey of about 70 minutes or so. Quite an interesting journey in the dark, especially going through the 6km tunnel under a fiord.

We arrived at a designated viewing area, and only learned as we approached the area that there were toilet facilities, and the opportunity to buy hot drinks, and snacks too. We'd debated the possibility of a 4-6 hour trip without toilet facilities, and drunk nothing from morning so we wouldn't need the loo. Great there were toilets, but please advise people beforehand.

The hill to be climbed for the best view was treacherous in the pitch black - snowy, extremely icy, incredibly rocky. Goodness know how there are not half a dozen broken ankles and wrists every night, especially as there were NINE coach loads there - over 500 people slipping and sliding around in the pitch black. It was a perilous trek up the hill, and even more hairy coming down. Thing is, you would see the phenomenon just as well from the car park, so once we safely made it off the hill, we celebrated with a Bailey's Hot Chocolate and watched the sky from the car park, (as all the coaches are in total darkness). We hadn't to queue long for our drinks or the toilets, but other had queued over half an hour for the loo, and given up on getting a hot drink as the queue had been so long when they and tried.

The Northern Lights made a pretty disappointing appearance - slight cream flash. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast. It's true that you can keep going until you see them, as the ticket is valid for 2 years.

The ironic thing is that the hotel we were staying in, Hotel Laxnes, about 25 minutes out of Reykjavik, is very well positioned for sightings of the Northern Lights, and had enjoyed a 3 hour display 2 nights before we arrived.

The trip is anything from 4-6 hours, and there is no guarantee you will see anything, but of course the lure of the trip is that you just might see the most amazing display ever!

Worth it, I guess.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Larsonsmummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Midlands, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“A disappointing experience”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

We booked a northern lights tour through Icelandair before our holiday. I would not recommend this. Wait till you arrive and book if conditions are favourable. Our allocated night was cancelled due to weather conditions. The next night the tour went ahead. It was chaos as the tour had not operated for a couple of nights. The mini bus that came to pick us up from the hotel was not big enough for everyone so we had to wait for another one to pick us up. We then arrived at the bus station for a transfer to a coach. Complete madness. - no-one explained anything and all queuing went out of the window. We then set off with a very negative guide telling us it was highly unlikely we would see anything ang that the lights were not that good seen with the naked eye anyway and you needed a tripod & camera. No sighting so off to a cafe for a half hour break which lasted an hour due to one family taking forever to return to the coach. More driving around then back to the hotel. They would not drop us at our hotel as they said it would take too long so we ended up walking quite a way. Whilst I understand thus trip is a risk due to nature, it is a very poor one. We heard from others that their guides were much more informative and therefore I would suggest booking with hotel not Icelandair.

Visited December 2013
2 Thank robinhood0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
56 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Goose Chase”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 21, 2013

Icelandic Tours were who we went with, booked with Wowcher before we left. On and off the coach in the freezing cold, some people had done this for 3 or 4 times, with no luck. We unexpectedly saw them on the way back to the airport, not as spectacular as previously imagined. I wouldn't pre book again and I would wait and see if there is likely to be a tour on the day before paying for it.
If you don't see the lights your ticket is reusable for up to 2 years....that spoke volumes to me!!

Visited December 2013
3 Thank Janiemac24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good sight, Poor company. ”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2013 via mobile

When we journeyed for the second time to the area just outside of Reykjavik, we were excited to try & see the Northern Lights. However, Reykjavik excursions offered a price similar to that of Time Tours, which took us to a place further away from city with a better chance of viewing the wonder that is the Aurora Borealis. The Reykjavik excursions coach went as a group of 5. Each coach held around 80 people and they grouped us all together in a small park to try & watch the lights. This 'cattle herding' technique was clearly a way to group people together with disregard as to wether they actually see the Northern Lights or not. We were however, lucky enough to glimpse them. But before I caught a sight of a bus driver shining a green laser pen in to the sky. As a representative of Reykjavik Excursions this was a mockery. Purely luck allowed us to view such a brilliant sight. In fact, if anything they hindered rather than helped.

3 Thank Jordanlaingg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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